Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water Dog or Perro de Agua Español is a breed of dog developed by the shepherds in Spain as a multi-purpose herder who was also used sometimes as a gundog, as well as an assistant to fishermen.

Spanish Water Dog Appearance

The SWD is a medium size, athletic, robust dog that is slightly longer than tall. Their tails are usually docked in the US, but undocked tails are not a fault in conformation showing if the dog was bred in a non-docking country.

The head should be strong and carried with elegance. The skull is flat and the top is parallel with the top of the muzzle. The nose, eye-rims and paw pads are the same colour as the darkest part of the coat or darker. The eyes are expressive and set fairly wide apart. They should be hazel, chestnut or dark brown in color, depending on the coat colour. The ears are set at medium height on the skull, and are triangular.

Spanish Water Dog Coat and colour

It has a distinctive curly coat which is woolly in texture and may form cords when long. The coat should not be clipped or groomed for aesthetic purposes. Instead, it should look entirely natural, as though it is not groomed at all. It should never be trimmed, but sheared down at least once a year. SWD puppies are always born with curly hair.

The SWD can be seen in a variety of colours. It may be black, beige, brown, white or bicolour where the second colour is white (brown and white or black and white). Tri-coloured dogs are strictly prohibited by the currently held (worldwide) standards for the breed as are black and tan or brown and tan colour combinations

Spanish Water Dog Size

The Spanish Water Dog is a medium-sized dog. The approximate measurements are:

  • Males
    • Height (at the withers): 44 to 50 cm (17 to 20 in)
    • Weight: 18 to 22 kg (40 to 49 lb)
  • Females
    • Height (at the withers): 40 to 45 cm (16 to 18 in)
    • Weight: 14 to 18 kg (31 to 40 lb)

Spanish Water Dog Temperament

The SWD is diligent, loyal, affectionate, and intelligent. They have very strong natural herding and guarding instincts. SWDs thrive on work and play. Their athleticism and extremely hard working nature illustrates how they need a lot of exercise. They enjoy working, and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks. They can be wary with strangers, and early and continuing socialization with a variety of people and other animals is essential for a well-adjusted, social dog. Good socialization at an early age greatly helps them adjust to small children.

Spanish Water Dog Grooming

SWDs require minimal grooming.

  • SWDs should never be brushed, instead, as the cords grow they should be checked for matting. When matting does occur they should be gently pulled apart without tearing the cords. If there is too much matting the cords should be sheared.
  • SWDs should be bathed only when dirty in lukewarm water. Use a neutral shampoo, never use human shampoo. SWDs should be allowed to air dry.
  • The cords must be sheared one or more times a year.
  • Ears and eyes should cleaned as often as they are dirty.
  • As with all dogs nails should be trimmed.
  • SWD puppies should be trimed for the first time at around the age of 6 months

Spanish Water Dog Health

The breed's life expectancy is about 14 years. Recent health testing has uncovered the following issues:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd-PRA)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Addison's Disease
  • Endocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
  • Allergies
  • Cataracts

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